Updated: St. Paul man charged with murder of Albert Lea man

Published 2:15 pm Monday, November 21, 2011

Woman stabbed in the eyes, now blind

A St. Paul man was charged Monday with murder in the weekend fatal stabbing of an Albert Lea man at an apartment in St. Paul.

Charges filed by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office allege Pah Ber, 48, stabbed the man — identified as Po Lye, 40 — after accusing him of cheating with his wife. After stabbing Lye, Ber allegedly turned on his wife.

Court documents state Ber faces one count of second-degree murder in the death of Lye, and one count of second-degree attempted murder related to his wife, Paw Pree, 40, of St. Paul.

Pah Ber

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Pree was critically injured from stab wounds and is being treated at Regions Hospital.

The incident happened sometime after 6 a.m. Saturday at an apartment building near the intersection of Farrington Street and West Arlington Avenue. Ber reportedly came home from drinking and playing cards and then saw Lye sleeping on the living room couch, court documents state.

Ber’s 21-year-old son told police Lye was his friend and he had asked to stay overnight.

However, Ber, who had been teased by Burmese refugees that his wife was cheating on him with other men, told police he believed Lye was the man who had been sleeping with his wife.

He reportedly asked Lye if he was going to take his wife, but Lye denied wanting to do so, stating he just wanted to get some rest and would then leave.

Ber then became mad and began stabbing him, according to court documents.

The son reportedly tried to stop Ber from stabbing Lye, but Ber threatened to kill the son. The son ran to his sister’s bedroom and told her to call 911. They later fled to a neighbor’s apartment.

Lye suffered “a very deep and wide laceration” to his neck, along with stab wounds to his stomach and chest, according to court documents. He died at the scene.

When asked how many times he stabbed Lye, Ber told police he had reportedly stabbed him “all over,” using an 8-inch-long knife.

After chasing Lye around the apartment and stabbing him, Ber reportedly broke down a bedroom door and started stabbing Pree, who had fled to the room for safety.

Pree was reportedly stabbed numerous times, including several times in the eyes. Staff at Regions Hospital have indicated she is now blind in both eyes.

Pree told police she heard Ber in the kitchen sharpening the knife after she had been stabbed. She said Ber then told her he was going to cut her throat, and she told one of her young children they needed to leave. The boy grabbed her hand and led her out of the apartment.

Ber and Pree lived in the apartment with their five children. Another young daughter was reportedly in the bed with Pree when she was stabbed.

Police responded to the apartment, at 1437 Farrington St., at about 7 a.m.

Upon arrival a witness yelled, “He killed him, there is a body in there,” pointing to the window of the apartment.

Officers walked in that direction and immediately found Ber walking down the stairs from the apartment with his hands coated in blood.

He reportedly told police “it is better” Lye is dead because now no one will tease him.

During a search of the apartment, officers found a large knife as well as a knife sharpener in the kitchen.

Ber is being held on $1 million bail, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The St. Paul Police Department and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office are asking for the public’s help in locating relatives of Lye.

Anyone with information about possible relatives of Lye is asked to call police at 651-266-5650, or the medical examiner at 651-266-1700.